Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Decision Making Process

  1. Think about it
  2. Pray
  3. Read Scripture that is related to the decision
  4. Meditate on this Scripture (and other Scripture)
  5. Think some more
  6. Pray
  7. Over think it
  8. Seek wise counsel
  9. Pray more
  10. Make a decision
I have trouble getting caught up in steps 1 through 9.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Complementarian Swing Dancing

The way the man must lead the woman ("Wives, submit to your own husbands, as to the Lord") to make her look good ("Husbands, love your wives") is a beautiful picture of complementarianism in action. We could all learn a lot from dancing. I think I'll go more often.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Current Reading

In progress:
  • 1 Corinthians - The Apostle Paul
  • Death By Love - Mark Driscoll
  • When Sinners Say "I Do" - Dave Harvey
  • Systematic Theology - Wayne Grudem
  • Seeing And Savoring Jesus Christ - John Piper
  • The Light Fantastic - Terry Pratchett
  • Living By The Book - Howard Hendricks
In queue:
  • Worldliness - C.J. Mahaney
  • Mortification of Sin - John Owen
  • The Myth of Certainty - Daniel Taylor
  • Hebrews - Unknown
  • Lots of Spurgeon
  • More Discworld Novels - Terry Pratchett

Roles and Adoption

I just have to share these two articles.
  1. The first is part 1 of a series that C.J. Mahaney is writing on Roles. It's a long read but a fantastic view of our situations and vocations. I don't quite get it all yet, but this is something that I've been processing a lot since entering the working world.
  2. The second is part 3 of a series of reflections on the recent adoption of a little girl Mya. All three of these posts have touched me, but this one resonated so clearly with my desire to fulfill James 1:27 in my own life (specifically through adoption and working with the elderly). I hope and pray that everyone who reads these posts are convicted to adopt as well.
Grace and Peace!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

If God Is Not There

It's stuff like this that help me appreciate other kinds of music.

From Provocations & Pantings

A Glimpse

A glimpse into the life of Scott:

I am folding my jeans dancing to Michael Buble's cover of Crazy Little Thing Called Love at 1am.

The ridiculousness of the situation demanded that it be shared.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Reflections on Adoption

This just seemed like a very honest word. Until the last paragraph broke my heart. I have a good friends who is adopted. Reading this reminded me of how he talks about it, how if his mom had decided on an abortion he'd be dead, how much his parents love him, how he can appreciate his adoption by God through his adoption by his parents. The Lord is moving in my heart; I think that if I ever am blessed with a family, we will adopt.

Reflections on Our Adoption - Part 1

Bonding with your adoptive child is very different than bonding with your biological children, especially for the mother.

With our first three kids, my wife had nine months of literal physical connection with this child inside of her, another 9 months or so of breast-feeding (I am told this is a very bonding experience with a child), and the child most-likely looks very similar to one of the parents, so there is a visual bond as well.

With an adopted child none of these experiences occur. We had three weeks to get used to the idea from the time we verbally committed to the time we picked her up. No breast feeding, and this black child couldn't look any less different than the rest of our family. (We are about as white bread as they come.) These factors contribute to the bonding process taking a bit longer. For me it hasn't really sunk in yet that she is ours. It kind of feels like we have a precious little visitor in our home right now. It's quite surreal.

None of these sentiments speaks to regret in the least, it's just me being honest with some feelings that dance around the edges. I have heard from other adoption parents that this is pretty much universally the case with adoptive parents who first had biological children. It just takes longer. Nothing to worry about, just embrace the reality and be patient.

These feeling have been challenging, but I am left to ask this question as well: What part of our adoption by The Father was easy? Cross-bearing is never easy, in fact the cost is exceedingly great, but the blessing is also mind blowingly great as well. By adopting sinners, did not our Father adopt children into his family that were infinitely different than Him?

Thursday, December 11, 2008


Talking is not always something I do well. I often talk only as long as I have a purpose or goal in the conversation. Once that goal has been reached, there is no longer any need to talk (because of course talking for the sake of getting to know someone or having any sort of relationship isn't important).

However, the opposite can be a problem too. If I begin a conversation and am in the proper mood, or feel like you are a trustworthy person, I can talk way too much. While you consider me to be an acquaintance, I will be treating you as a long time friend. Enter awkward situations. All that simply because how we perceive each other.

Perception is an incredible thing. Think about this: not only did God create buildings, but He also created the way that those in the foreground appear to be moving faster than those in the background as we walk past. God designed how things appear to us.

Be A Better Man

Reading about the effects of egalitarianism makes me want to be a better man.


This post shows me the value of brevity.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

My Source Of Satisfaction

I am grateful to have a blog.

As I go through my day, I think of things I could say here. The temptation has struck me very recently to complain through this venue. Fear of man prevented me from doing this, as I want to make a good impression on anyone who may stumble upon any of these writings. But as I thought on what I can say here the Lord convicted me, not only of my fear of man, but also of my lack of faith. I was tempted to complain about loneliness. God, in His mercy, prevented me from voicing this in the way that I wanted to. So now I speak about it not as complaining, but as confession.

I wanted to go to a concert and I didn't want to go alone. I asked a number of people and they all had reasons not to come. I was hurt. Satan whispered "No one wants to spend time with you. You're not interesting. You're not valuable. They like spending time with other people more than you. You're always second choice, or probably lower for most people. No one really enjoys spending time with you." The devil knows where I struggle. The half truths wedge themselves in my brain and I felt miserable. But God is faithful.

I praise God that in the midst of this, He was there. I knew He wanted me for Himself. But I chose to continue pursuing the company of other people, only to encounter more disappointment and pain.

The concert was great. The songs were so filled with truth, and the central theme was the fear of man. The music was phenomenal and made me want to be in a band (as concerts usually do). I talked with a bunch of folks from BBC who were also at the concert, which was really good, and then watched some of The Return of the King with Matt. While all that stuff was good and made me feel better, it missed the point. The point was that I sought satisfaction in other people and didn't listen to God when He tried to point me toward Himself.

I didn't listen when He said "come be with Me. I'm all you need. Rest in Me. I love you so much. I love you so much I died for you. I didn't need to. It doesn't matter that you are awkward or kooky, that's the way I made you. I love the real you, not the super christian you have in your mind. And I am worth knowing. I am the Creator of the Universe. I am the Alpha and Omega. I am the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. I AM ...and I love you"

I'm listening now.

Broccoli Never Sounded Better

From one of my favorite blogs:

Monday, December 8, 2008


My roommate Cloid and I had an incredible discussion tonight. Cloid is a man I respect so much and love as a brother in Christ.

Lets set the stage. I am considering considering dating/courting/whatever you want to call having a romantic relationship. I am reading my bible and have questions/thoughts/concerns. Cloid is engaged to Ashley. We are in Richards room. I like talking with Cloid. Cloid likes talking to me.

Enter 1 Corinthians 7.

The primary reason I was initially drawn to this passage is because I want to know how I should feel about believers marrying unbelievers (it is much more complicated than that, but that's the foundation). I see the sections of verses 1-5 talking to married people, vv. 8-11 addressing singles and married folks, and vv. 12-16 speaking to those who were saved while married and their spouse is still an unbeliever. I see how 17-24 parallels 25-31 in the sense that we should remain as we are ("in view of the present distress"), though they address the issue with different reasons and implementation.

Verses 32-35 speak to how marriage divides our "interests". This is where a large part of our discussion took place. Now having an interest in something implies more than just enjoying it. So if I say "I'm interested in politics", Paul would be assuming you are involved in politics as well. Except for him (and for all believers), instead of politics, we should be interested in how to please the Lord. When you get married, however, your "interests are divided" and you become anxious about worldly things, how to please your wife/husband. This is right! Don't think that we should feel ashamed of being married! There are so many reasons to get married, and in 1 Corinthians Paul highlights how it prevents your passions from becoming sin (v.9). In Ephesians he speaks to how marriage of a man and woman should reflect the relationship between Christ and the Church (Eph. 5:22-33). These are just what come to my mind immediately, but Jesus speaks to marriage also.

Verses 36-38 address whether two people who are "betrothed" should get married. Now I didn't really know what it meant to be betrothed, but Cloid had heard somethings about it. The ESV note always read that "betrothed" could also mean "virgin", but knowing the english language would tell us that this word implies a commitment. Cloid shed some light by explaining how in this culture, being betrothed meant that a woman was promised to a man, similar to engagement in our culture. However, the man would go and prepare for marriage by working toward some sort of financial situation or just accomplishing things that were "needed" before actually getting married. This makes the parables about the virgins waiting for their betrothed but running out of oil come even more alive. Those women didn't actually know when he was coming! It could be months, years, or even weeks.

This is most likely why Paul speaks to those who are betrothed and tells them that "If anyone thinks that he is not behaving properly toward his betrothed, if his passions are strong, and it has to be, let him do as he wishes: let them marry—it is no sin." (v.36) I read this and think of Paul saying "to avoid sinning because of your lack of self control, you should get married." Now, being betrothed is not the same as being engaged, so it isn't completely synonomous, but the principle is still good. Paul meant what he said in verse 9.

From that point we talked more about proper motivations for getting married (a rational founding in Biblical truths + romantic feelings + love of God) and how those things interact. I worry that any romantic feelings I may have would come from a place of selfishness, so we talked about the interaction between the ideal person we desire to be and the person we actually are. This was especially helpful in realizing that, in this life, I will never have completely pure motives in my actions (though I should strive for that). Romantic feelings must distinguish themselves from the love that we should already have for our brothers and sisters in Christ. Cloid thought pure and good romantic feelings might stem from a desire for oneness that goes beyond the normal bond between the children of God and that seems reasonable to me. For sure it's not exclusive, but it was a satisfying thought.

This was not a rigorous regurgitation of our conversation, but I hope you get the gist. These thoughts have been mulling over in my mind for a while now, and while this is certainly not the whole of them, it is a nice long look. Thanks for reading!

Be Gracious With Me

I would ask anyone who reads what I write here to do so with a full helping of grace. I am flawed and sinful, deserving of Gods wrath but saved by the death of Jesus Christ. I'm still in the process of sanctification. I'll say wrong things, be arrogant, miss the point, etc. Please correct my mistakes, while forgiving them as Christ already has. Thank you so much!

Sunday, December 7, 2008


Flattery doesn't help, we should be correcting each other. We should be ready and willing to confront others in a loving and prayerful manner.

Please be correcting me. Rebuke me for sin, approach me when I do something that bothers you, please tell me! And please do it in a loving, prayerful, Christ-centered manner. Exhortation must be done in a spirit of humility and self examination, not with a holier-than-thou attitude. Examine your heart to see if you are in line with the Scriptures command to "exhort one another every day, as long as it is called 'today,' that none of you may be hardened by the deceitfulness of sin." Meditate on Hebrews 3:13.

Please be gracious to me with one time offenses, but love me enough to point out constant sin or trouble spots in my life. It will be hard. It will hurt.

But say the hard thing, it's worth it.

I Am Second

i am second

This is quickly becoming one of my favorite websites. It is so good to hear the power of the Gospel in peoples lives so clearly. I haven't seen all the videos yet, but I do have a few favorites thus far.

Ellie Got Her Visa!

My friend Ellie has been trying to get a missionary visa for the last 7 months in order to go to Brazil for deaf ministry. This Friday, she got it. The following is the email she sent out letting us all know how it went down (I hope it's ok to share this, let me know if it's not). This link will take you to the email she sent out.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Better Poetry

This is hilarious. I first heard about it here.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Thoughts from Arizona

  • I love how old ladies wink when you smile at them (is that weird?)
  • I get excited when I get into airports
  • I love flying
  • I sat next to an 89 year old woman today at the airport in Phoenix. She had never been married. She said that she hadn't found "the one", and if you don't love 'em, why marry 'em?
  • Hiking in mountains is amazing.
  • I love mountains.
  • Say the hard thing. It's worth it.

Also, there should be an up and coming post about what the Lord has been teaching me about singleness/marriage/the like.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

A Season of Static

I just did laundry.

Monday, November 24, 2008

He: Psalm 119:33-40


33 Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statutes;
and I will keep it to the end.
34 Give me understanding, that I may keep your law
and observe it with my whole heart.
35 Lead me in the path of your commandments,
for I delight in it.
36 Incline my heart to your testimonies,
and not to selfish gain!
37 Turn my eyes from looking at worthless things;
and give me life in your ways.
38 Confirm to your servant your promise,
that you may be feared.
39 Turn away the reproach that I dread,
for your rules are good.
40 Behold, I long for your precepts;
in your righteousness give me life!

How this expresses the cry of my heart today!

I love naps

Nap without guilt

Things to Get

  • Swimsuit (for triathlon training)
  • jigsaw puzzles (for house bonding)
  • toothpaste (for teeth)
  • deodorant (for
  • plastic (for covering windows during the winter)
  • Suitcase (for carry on luggage)
  • an avalanche transceiver and shovel (for skiing the Ridge at Bridger Bowl)

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Jigsaw Puzzles

So I was a sub in 6th Grade Sunday School this morning and part of the lesson involved doing jigsaw puzzles. This reminded me of the time that Taylor had a puzzle sitting on our living room table, which was really fun! When ever anyone had some time, they'd sit down and try to find a few pieces (half of the puzzle was a blue sky, not making that mistake again). This was just a great way to spend those inbetween moments, mainly because there was often another roommate working on it too, so as you'd be piecing this thing together you would generally have some sort of communication, just chatting about life and stuff.

So my idea is to constantly have jigsaw puzzles around to encourage house bonding! I think it's a great idea, and it wasn't immediately shot down by the few roommates that I suggested it to (though Taylor forbid puzzles with skies), so I'm gonna do it! Now I just need to actually make it to a Target or like store sometime in my life...

p.s. I hope the Lord is with me on this decision, but I am also going to stop subbing for Sunday School and join full on. I'll have my guys from last year, I'm excited :-)

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Entertainment and Retirement Could Kill You

This was incredibly convicting.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

DG blog: How I Approach God When Feeling Rotten

This article is incredible. A very real and helpful approach to getting right with God.

How I Approach God When Feeling Rotten by John Piper

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Fake John Piper

It's funny, but I'm not sure what else to think about it.

Monday, November 17, 2008


I'm taking a community learning class for Chinese. I love this language so much. I get excited when I hear someone speaking it in the grocery store or at work. I get even more excited when I understand some words (even when it's only "I" or "you")!

I went to a Chinese-American afternoon at BBC this weekend where they talked about the meaning of Thanksgiving (in English) and someone else gave their testimony (in Chinese). I didn't understand the testimony, but it was so fun to be able to get the gist of what he was saying.

Some folks at my work are going to start up a Chinese lunch group, so we can get together over lunch and speak in Chinese!! I am definitely going to participate. I also am going to start learning the language using Rosetta Stone, which is a program that is used to help people learn languages.

As far as what I'm going to do with this knowledge...

The Lord knows.

Sunday, November 16, 2008


One of my roommates got engaged this weekend.

One down.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Saturday Night Service

I'm really glad that I've started going to church on Saturday nights. I enjoy the special fellowship that I've been able to enjoy after the service. Specifically I'm thinking about how I could stay in the church for an hour after we are dismissed just talking with folks. Then I went to a house where a bunch of people were getting together and hung out some more. I love the BBC community!

Somethings that I liked about the service this weekend were
  1. My mom came. I really hope that she and my dad get plugged into a solid church that will lead them both more toward Christ. I think their current church is somewhat lacking in this department.
  2. Pastor John preached the Gospel! One of the things which makes me so joyful is how he is continually going back to the Gospel at the end of all of these sermons on John. It's probably my favorite part; I find myself looking forward to it every week.
  3. Singing hymns. They are so rich in truth and hopefully stir the hearts of those who sing them (mine most certainly is stirred).

Phil (22 words)

I think if I hang out with Phil any more, I'll end up going to China.

Not that that's a bad thing.


I don't get it.

I've been up since 8:30 am. It's 4:50 now. I have not seen or heard from any of the 5 other people living in my house all day. It's been a quiet, lonely day.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Public Speaking

I really enjoy speaking. I'm not talking about what you do in conversation, I'm talking public speaking. I have a lot of fun getting up in front of a group of people and talking about something important. And not only the talking, but the preparation! It is one of my greatest joys to tweak something to perfection (of course my speaking abilities leave much to be lacking in the delivery of such perfect content). I enjoy the reasoning, the study, the thought that goes into preparing a talk.

Subject Material
I can think of nothing more important than Jesus Christ. Maybe you could say that God is more important, but Jesus is God so that's a silly thing to say. I am firmly convinced that Jesus Christ came to earth to die for our sins, so that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. Apart from Christ we will face the just wrath of God as the consequence of our sins. Any talk not about God isn't worth it. I'll probably need to give a few of those if I continue as an engineer, but Jesus is who I'm living for. Sorry for the aside, I just thought it was important.

The Nonverbal
While a significant part of a talk is the subject material, over half of communication happens outside of the words that are spoken. That means I'm telling you more with my posture, tone of voice, eye contact, etc. than I am with the words that are coming out of my mouth. How crazy is that! One of the memories that sticks with me from college is meeting with Adam to learn about giving a talk. He had me read a Psalm (I think it was Psalm 23) trying to be as expressive as possible. I had so much trouble varying the intensity of my voice (I'm often a soft spoken guy) that I had to do it over and over. It was a great lesson about intentionally conveying thoughts and feelings in a way that both compliments and facilitates the message behind the words.

Spring Retreat
It's funny to think back to when I did speak at Spring Retreat. I was so freaked out about being completely prepared (thank you Lee for your incredible input) and was almost physically sick with worry. But when I walked onto the stage, all that worry and anxiety went away. I just talked. I had something to say, I said it, and I loved doing it! Probably the most meaningful thing anyone said afterward was "you should do that again". I hope and pray that I will get the chance.

p.s. I noticed how I referred to public speaking as giving a "talk". I originally titled this post "Preaching" but then thought better of it. I wonder what it all means...

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I am one of the most selfish people I know.

I've found that my outlook on life barely considers what is good for others. How then am I supposed to "do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves" (phil 2:3) and "look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others"(phil 2:4)? It's impossible! Please Lord, change my heart!

p.s. notice how this post was all about me?

Saturday, November 8, 2008

My Little Notebook

I've recently started carrying around a little notebook. I had a gift card for Barnes & Noble and there were these perfectly sized notebooks with nice binding (decently sized wire rings) on sale, so I bought two. It took a bit to catch on (I tried journaling but it didn't take. Also, "journaling" not being in many spell checkers=annoying) but now I use bring it with me in my China bag when I go to church or small group or where ever.

I discovered that I have subconsciously developed a system for keeping track of things in my notebook. There are a few big rules:
  • New events get a new underlined title.
  • Every title gets todays date on the left side in the format MM/DD/YY
  • All the stuff that I find interesting gets a bullet point followed by words
  • Verses are listed by reference with a brief summary of what it says/application points to the right
  • Random thoughts/really important stuff goes on the top of the page
So far it's worked really really well! The organization is rather fluid (maybe numbers instead of bullets) but for the most part I can look back and find things that I want to.

One other thing that I've started doing is writing down the names of people I meet, along with some memorable facts about them. Like yesterday I met Jonathan. He's from South Carolina and has a little girl named Elizabeth. Just little things like that which help me remember someone. The thing that I've noticed is that I will pray for the people whose names I write down too. I don't often go back and look at the names, but just writing it down prompts my memory.

Why Blog?

I was thinking about this question as I was in the TBI Seminar this morning and came up with some good stuff (I think). I also found a great way to keep track of everything in my little notebook. That'll be the next post?

My primary motivation is two-fold.
  1. I've been reading a lot of blogs lately and have begun to appreciate this method of communicating with others.
  2. My friend Josh Mathews has started writing monthly update emails to anyone and everyone who want to stay connected with him as life moves on. I think this is one of the best things ever because I love hearing about what he's doing and things he's learning.
I hope that I will be able to create cohesive posts that accurately convey what I am thinking/feeling/experiencing. I worry that I will go on tangents (like the notebook thing) and it will detract from the quality of what I have to say. I also worry (much more so) that I will write too much and what I say will be diluted. On that note, I'll be done :-)

p.s. should I use tagging?

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

A Heads Up

So I've decided that blogging is a great way to express myself and hold myself accountable. As a result of said decision, I will be writing an entry every Saturday (at minimum).

When I say "hold myself accountable", I mean accountable to my personal goals. There was a time this past summer when if someone would have asked me how my week was, I wouldn't have been able to say much of anything. That is a wasted life. I will not live like that. So with this blog, I will have to be thinking about what I can share with the blogosphere about life or whatever.

You'll be hearing from me soon...!

Monday, November 3, 2008

BBC Small Group

I am in love with my church.

I just recently joined a small group with Bethlehem Baptist Church and have been loving every bit of it. I went to Saturday service a few weeks ago (almost a month now) and ran into EY (who I'm going to do triathlons with). He had given Jordan a ride and they invited me to sit next to them. They sat next to Matt. Matt invited us to a small group that was starting (though I learned about 3 weeks and much confusion later that it was actually the second group to split from a different small group led by Jason (who I had met 2 years ago at a summer gathering after church at some pastors house). A rather ridiculous story with some incredible results!

I went to the small group and loved it! Dieudonne, Matt and Stephanie are leading it. Dieudonne taught the first week on Colossians 1:1,2. I was blown away. He laid out how Paul had never even met the Colossians, yet he calls them brothers (1:2), and "
from the day we heard, we have not ceased to pray for you" (1:9). How much love does Paul have for these believers who he has never even met! And how much more love would Paul have toward the Colossians after regularly praying for them! That is the vision for this group: that we would be praying for eachother regularly and growing in love for one another. Dieudonne talked about the grace and peace that Paul prayed for the Colossians as well, why Paul would pray those things and what it really means. I don't remember that as clearly, but it was very Christ glorifying.

Saturday and Sunday evenings are becoming my favorite times of the week. I am really enjoying this fellowship that is leading me to the Cross. I am in love with the Gospel. The good news that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us, and those who believe on Jesus will be saved from the just wrath of God. Amen! If you don't, please trust Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And if you do, bury yourself even deeper in that trust, that belief, that faith in Christ.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What I do at work

I do a number of things, so I'll break it down a little:
1) I do testing: we make changes to a design or modify some part and then need to figure out how it changed things. So we test the important stuff, like how much noise is there in our system (radio frequency noise, I can explain more if you want me to). Our goal is to get our wireless radio working well enough to have reliable data transfer between the hearing aid and the programmer, between the hearing aid and another hearing aid, and between the hearing aid and a remote (to control the audio modes of the hearing aid).

2) I interpret the results of testing: We get a bunch of data and then we need to make decisions about it. First we need to figure out what the data is telling us, so often we make a bunch of graphs in excel or matlab (a math program) that make it easier to see trends.

3) I write code: this is not really part of my job, but I want to be prepared in case I ever do need to write code. So I'm learning a few programming languages (AutoHotKey and Python) in the hopes that I will be able to apply this knowledge to some problem I may have in the future. Most of the code I am trying to figure out will make doing numbers 1 and 2 a lot easier :-)

4) I go to meetings: enough said

5) other stuff: I manage the website that my group is supposed to use (but doesn't) to communicate with each other and store documents. I'll talk about my observations of our system (the hearing aid+wireless stuff) with folks to get a better understanding of how everything works. that's all i care to think of right now

Numbers 1 and 2 are the more important things that I do. Learning code is really boring when you don't have some problem you're trying to solve with it, so that part is sometimes exciting sometimes not. And I'm supposed to start helping another guy do work with antennas, which is really tough but really interesting.


I was writing back and forth with a friend and we started swapping stories. I just thought I'd share the ones that I told.

My mom loves thunderstorms and my dad is always telling her to stay away from the windows when there's a bad one. Well during one of the worst storms we have had at our house, my mom had moved her favorite chair near our patio sliding door so that she could watch the storm. I think I was standing or sitting next to her. Everyone is downstairs (which is where the patio door is) except most of them are watching the tv or playing a game or something. then BAM! A huge black thing slammed up against the house around the patio door and then flew away! Haha, it turned out that our big trampoline had gotten picked up by the wind, thrown up against our house and then blown into our neighbors trees. So many things got ripped up during that storm, it was crazy. Luckily we didn't lose any trees, but we did lose a trampoline :-) We actually unbent the pieces that were messed up and fixed it, so it didn't quite go away (and then when that one did finally die we bought another one, I think we're on number 3 now). It was just funny how my dad had just told my mom to get away from the window and then our house gets the beat down from a flying trampoline.

Travis + Skiing:
Any skiing story that I tell will have to involve Travis (best friend type), so I'll introduce you to him, then talk about skiing. We met in 6th grade while we were going to the same church for 6 months. Then he moved and we talked on the phone all the time. He lived about 20 minutes away, which was way too far away to see him very often since our parents had to drive us. But we have remained good friends ever since then. If ever I had a sleep over, it was with him. He went to Anoka High school and I went to Champlin Park, so in that sense we were rivals, but luckily neither of us had a lick of school spirit. Then he went to Bethel and I went to the U of MN and I would go to Vespers and meet up with him then. He is the one who got me into ping pong. His parents made him and his brothers go outside every once in a while, just to get them out of the house, and so that was fun too. He's into piano too, which was another thing we had in common. He introduced me to a church camp that we both worked at for a few summers, people just grouped us together because we were never far apart. I've gotten really mad at him a few times, but mainly because he's just so argumentative! His brothers are twins, but look nothing alike. Travis is a twig and his brother Jordan is like a mini Travis. My mom got them confused. Wade (his other brother) is just like his dad (Travis and Jordan are like his mom). Now he's going to grad school in AZ, and I'm visiting him over thanksgiving.

I have been skiing without Travis maybe 3 times in my life. It makes it really nice to have someone who's the same skill level as you are to go with, and so when my dad wanted to bring me along to MT for skiing I brought Travis. Neither of us was very good at first (I would argue that this has changed, we can now to double blacks, though he doesn't like them). This year we're going to do the ridge at Bridger (instead of just talking about it). I think the story that I will tell was of the first year we went. We didn't really do anything higher up on the mountain since we both sucked at this point. Travis loves going through the trees and hitting jumps, while I love going fast and doing moguls (trees and jumps are fun too, just not as fun as he makes them out to be). We did this run called Good Clean Fun, which has since earned the reputation for being anything but. I probably hit about 3 trees, once going fast enough for it to really hurt, and Travis got into this really deep power and somehow managed to hit his head with his ski! He ends up touching his head a while later and when it comes down with blood he realizes what happened. So we go to the first aid place and they send us into town cause he needs stitches. Needless to say, when we called his parents to get insurance info, they were a little freaked out and he soon had a helmet (like that night soon). Then we skied the rest of the time and went home happy.

It was recess in 1st grade and I was on the play ground. The whistle had just been blown so we had to come back inside. I had been playing with my cousin (the one who just got married) and a couple of his friends, so me and another one of the kids (ben) decided to race back. So we take off and I'm running as fast as I can, I look over to see how he's doing and the next thing I know I'm on my back in the sand. I had run right into a horizontal pole that was part of this other piece of playground equipment! I became horizontal in the air and probably flew about 3-4 feet beyond the pole. I was bleeding all over and my cousin helped me up and walked me up the hill to the school (they were almost made because we were being slow but then they saw I was hurt). I went to the nurses office and then to some place to get stitches. My right ear had almost come off I had hit the pole so hard. If it had been ripped any more it would have done damage to my hearing canal, so I was pretty lucky :-) So my ears are not the same height

Fighting with Siblings:
I actually didn't fight with my siblings too much. Well, I would fight with my brother, but that's because he was a little twerp who didn't know right from left, haha! He has managed to hold onto his attitude (probably because he's the youngest and my parents don't do anything to him). It's gotten worse as of late, but my sisters kind of encourage him and I was terrible my senior year of high school, it helped my parents with the whole process of getting rid of me (they wanted me gone!). So I'll tell a little story about how me and my sister used to fight when we were like 2.

I loved naps and always wanted to take them. Kate however did not. She would fight and struggle into her crib, yelling and doing whatever she could to keep out and awake. So one of her favorite things to do was to wake me up during our naps. She'd throw things into my crib or make a lot of noise. Once she figured out how to open her crib, then everything went downhill. She would run around or start playing with her (or my) toys. Then my parents would come in and tell her to knock it off and stick her back in bed or something, but she was just a trouble maker. I was a great kid (except for my senior year :-/ ).

My Senior Year:
My senior year of high school's terribleness mainly centered around this girl who I had started dating. It was my first official relationship (though there were a lot of unofficial ones before that) and I didn't really know what to do or anything about boundaries. So I spent way too much time with her, got way to emotionally attached and made a lot of mistakes. Over all, I learned a ridiculous amount from the experience, but most of that learning happened in hindsight. During the relationship I pretty much did what I wanted, often resulting in conflict with my parents. I was just a total jerk to my parents and my siblings (they told me this afterward). Yeah, so the distance that created between us made the transition to college very easy, since everybody (myself included) just kind of wanted to get away from each other. Now we're cool though

My mom's extended family (so my second cousins and the like) has a family reunion every year at Lake Otter tail. What's great about this lake is that it's huge, but probably only about 6 feet deep the entire way across. It's completely unreal! If you go skiing or tubing and you wipe out, you just stand up while you wait. I have always loved that place. But the really amazing thing is that right next to the lake is Otter tail river. It's a pretty narrow river, only about 50 feet across. There is also a bridge that goes across the river (about 15 feet up). In all the years that my family has jumped off of this bridge, no one has ever touched the bottom. Of course I'm talking about in the middle of the river, but it's so much fun. It's also terrifying! My brother did a bunch of back flips off of it, while I'm the only one who will dive out of my immediate family. It's so much fun though, I love it. I remember one summer at camp our youth director knew all these fun things to do while diving, so the whole time we were there we would spend all our free time at the diving docks. Travis was there of course. He sometimes comes to the family reunions too, but the last time we were at the bridge was just for the heck of it. We have a cabin about 30 minutes away from there, so we went over one afternoon.

That's it for now!

Monday, October 6, 2008

A Fantastic Weekend

This weekend was just great. On Friday my cousin Trevor Nordick got married to his long time girlfriend Ashley. They had been living together for a while now, so it seems like less of a big deal, but it's still exciting to have another one of my cousins all old and married (the first being Erin, married to Matt Castagna). I had never been to a Catholic wedding (I've seen quite a few Catholic funerals though), so it was a very interesting experience. The priest caught Trevor yawning during his talk, which was really funny and I'm sure Trevor was really embarrassed.

The priest actually gave a really good message, which was good for me to hear since I have some negative predispositions toward Catholicism. It definitely did strike me how Christ centered the Desiring God Conference was the previous weekend. Most of the message at the wedding focused on love, which was very appropriate, but I guess I was expecting much more of an emphasis on Christ. It was there, but not as explicit as at the DG Conference.

The reception was fun too, though the music wasn't all that great. Older music is so much more fun to dance to than the modern hip hop stuff. I also realized how empty drinking can be and resolve not to drink too much at any other wedding; I think I'll enjoy it more if I don't. My cousin Andy (the grooms brother) however had no such qualms and got quite inebriated. He was hilarious though, he's one of the more friendly drunks I've seen :)

On Saturday I was at my parents house for a bit. I worked on my laptop for a bit, then ate breakfast, went on a quick run, at second breakfast (LoTR anyone?) and then headed back to my apartment in Uptown. Of course I had to get a few games of DotA in, sandwiching some quality reading time as I was trying to catch up with all the homework for my TBI (The Bethlehem Institute) class. Then I read Confessions of a Reformissional Rev. by Mark Driscoll for 2 hours before I fell asleep. What a great book! It is basically Mark's account of how Mars Hill developed, from start to present. In it he outlines a lot of tough situations and decisions that had to be worked through for the church to continue to grow and be Christ centered with a missions focus. I was so very impressed with how he handled his mistakes and the convictions that he acted on. I highly recommend the book.

Then on Sunday I actually had my TBI class and got to have some good conversation about Genesis 12:1-3 and the surrounding/related texts. I really enjoy a few specific people from my class. Ed is an older man who has been through this class a number of times already. He is very passionate for the Lord and has tons of wisdom gained through tons of experience that I will probably never have. Another person is Seth. He and a friend moved up to Minneapolis specifically to go to Bethlehem and grow under the teaching of our preaching pastor John Piper. That someone would make such a dramatic change in their lives for the sake of pursuing the Lord speaks highly of their drive to seek God. Through our conversations, Seth continually speaks bluntly about his convictions and the Word, which is so refreshing to my soul. Jenna is another person in my class who demonstrates a hunger for the Word and intimacy with God. She is a more recent believer than the other two, but reminds me a lot of Liz Bandy in how much she desires to learn and grow. The way that God has made Himself part of her thinking process is a constant reminder to me that all praise is due to God and how our lives should be dedicated to seking and savoring Christ.

Speaking of Jenna, she actually set me up with a lunch date on Sunday too. Jenna's old roommate Anna also goes to Bethlehem and so we went to church and then out to lunch at a really neat French cafe on Lyndale. I actually saw Joel Brygger there too, which was fun. Anna and I had never met (blind date, it was weird but fun) so we talked about our families, how we were brought up and where we've been. It was a great time, and I got to know someone who seems to be a pretty cool person. I don't know if it will go anywhere, but regardless I think I just got a new friend :)

After lunch my dad came by and while we were initially going to change the spark plugs in my car, it turns out my extender wasn't long enough so we ended up just walking around Uptown for a while. It was really, really good. We checked out the Running Room, since I'm getting into running and my dad is biking now. All the cartelage was worn down in one of his toes so he has a lot of pain when he runs, and I thought that this place did gait analysis, which is basically you walking on a treadmill and them designing an insole that will help your feet. I really enjoyed the conversations and hope to have more of them soon.

After my dad left, I was priveleged to attend a birthday dinner for Colin Morley, one of the guys from the biblestudy I led. It was great to see him and the other guys who came along. I got to chat with Andy Hesemann (my old housemate and another guy in my study) a bit about how his year was going and how he was doing. It was great to catch up. Those are some solid guys who I am blessed to call my friends. I'm going to figure out a time when I can have them all over to my house sometime.

And in between the date and my dad, I got to chat with Jenna about the date and life (she was having a tough weekend). I'm glad that I'm connecting with her; it's honestly a huge part of my motivation in taking the TBI class. I wanted to get more connected to others at Bethlehem. I'm glad I'm making new friends.

Monday, September 29, 2008

A most unique bit of poetry

(9:06:03 AM) Andrew: for our discusions are a red, red rose
(9:06:15 AM) Andrew: its petals: our love
(9:06:28 AM) Andrew: the long stem... is argumentativity
(9:06:44 AM) Andrew: each leaf a new made up word
(9:06:58 AM) Andrew: how green are the chloraplasts of conceit!
(9:07:12 AM) Andrew: ;-)
(9:07:50 AM) Andrew: your face is a thorn. protecting the odiferous interior
(9:07:57 AM) Andrew: lol
(9:08:09 AM) Andrew: think about it

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Can I do it?

I wonder often about this question, though maybe not in the way that it would first appear. I don't wonder about if I'll be able to make it through the day. I don't think about technical dilemmas I may face at my job. I'm not concerned with choosing the right clothes to wear tomorrow. What I worry about is purpose.

This is what I do: I wonder if what I'm doing tonight will matter in 30 years, I fret about wasting those two hours watching Liar Liar again, I ponder how to stay true to who I am while staying faithful to Jesus in all that I do, etc. I wonder about how I spend my time and what the point of getting into running really is. I wonder if I could ever maintain a romantic relationship with someone, much less get into one in the first place! Will I be a good father if that day ever comes? Will I love my wife well? Will I love my Lord God with all my heart, soul, mind and strength? Do I do these things now? How do I validate my beliefs? How important is it to be completely sold out for Jesus? Do I have to go all the way? Why am I wired the way that I am? How can I do my job well? Is this the right job for me? Am I living in the country God wants me in? Should I be involved with college ministry through Cru or help lead the 5th and 6th graders at Bethlehem?

I could go on all night with these questions, but what would be the point? The point would be for me to process them for myself. There are so many things that I wish I could be. Lord willing, I will become what is best.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Where is Today?

So I figured that it was about time to recap the last few months of life here in Scottland. I graduated, bummed around for a month, then got a job at Starkey Labs as a Wireless Engineer! It's pretty much a dream job, doing what I want to and making too much money in the process.

Oh yeah, I should also mention that we (Ben Cornish, Taylor Gould, Cloid Green, Richard Blonigen, Dave Carpenter and me) moved into a place in Uptown after graduation. It's an incredible location, 2 blocks from Lake Calhoun and Calhoun Square, so right in the middle of everything. I have my own room (which is a complete mess) and things are going very well.

I recently signed up for the TBI Essentials course at Bethlehem. I'm pretty excited about that, it'll be a great way to continue to be challenged and grow while at the same time really get plugged into the Bethlehem community. I was thinking about getting involved in the Senior High Ministry but the Lord has been showing me that I belong in Youth Ministry, hopefully 6th grade.

I've really been convicted about how I have been spending my time. I don't want to be wasting my days after work, or even during work for that matter! I want the things I do to matter. I don't care about getting rid of things that are wasteful, those will go away as I fill my schedule with meaningful activities.

On the note of meaningful activities, I have yet to decide if this blog is on that list. If it finds its way there, you can expect to hear a lot more from me in the coming days. If not, this will continue to be updated every 3 to 6 months as it has been in the past :-)

Monday, April 7, 2008

Doers of the word

I just found this post that I wrote in the beginning of April 2008. I was writing my Spring Retreat talk and was getting rather feisty. Take it as you will:

James 1:19-27

(AG) Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person(AH) be quick to hear,(AI) slow to speak,(AJ) slow to anger; 20for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. 21Therefore(AK) put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with(AL) meekness the implanted word,(AM) which is able to save your souls.

22But be(AN) doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. 24For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. 25But the one who looks into the perfect law,(AO) the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts,(AP) he will be blessed in his doing.

26If anyone thinks he is religious(AQ) and does not bridle his tongue but deceives his heart, this person’s(AR) religion is worthless. 27Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:(AS) to visit(AT) orphans and widows in their affliction, and(AU) to keep oneself(AV) unstained from the world.

When I think of Christianity, what comes to mind is not people who do. Instead, I think of philosophers who want to understand God and let their minds be transformed so that they are the perfect Christian. That is foolishness.

I was thinking about how the early church spent time with God and this passage came to mind. I'm betting that the first Christians didn't spend their time together talking theology or mincing the details of one of the letters they had received. I'm betting their alone time consisted of praying and maybe studying the Scriptures (OT). When they got together, someone might read one of the letters from an apostle and they probably celebrate communion. If I were going to characterize the lives of the early church just from my head, I'd say that they were much more active than christians are today. I love the quote from Don't Waste Your Life where the Roman Emperor is complaining that not only is there not a single Jew who is a beggar, but the Galileans are taking care of all the poor, not just their own! Why is that not so now!!!?!?!?! We are deceiving ourselves, because we are not doers of the word!

I don't mean to be so harsh on Christians, but then again I do. How can we even bear that name when we are not acting on what we know?

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Spring Retreat + Thoughts

Earlier in the year I had expressed interest to Bob about speaking at the Spring Retreat. I just got an email from him saying that if I wanted to, I can speak. So I'm spending today praying about it, hopefully following God above all. I know that I personally would love the experience, but I need to take this to Him. I want to be following Jesus, not myself. I want to know that Jesus is worth my life, not just some guy that few billion people are obsessing about.

It really struck me last night in bible study as we were praying how absurd it looks that a bunch of guys are in a room talking what seems like a ghost in the air. It just occurred to me now that that is exactly what it looks like to people who don't believe that God exists. I find myself in a questioning mood lately as I think about surrendering every bit of my life to Christ. If I am to live entirely for him, I want to be fully convinced that He is real, alive, and worth my life. I don't want to depend on euphemisms and christianese to convince myself of the validity of Christ's claims about himself and God. As I look to my future, I know that a life lived for myself would be wasted. I know that God gives me purpose and I feel complete when I'm living for Him. But I need to know it. In my very soul, not just my mind. I think that most of my life, faith has been located in the mind. How much different would I look if what I "believed" was rooted deep into everything that defined me. My deepest desires would be aligned with Christs. Nothing that I would do or say would be outside of the influence of Christ. I barely know what it looks like for anything to be that way. I have always tried to live in emotional unattachment.

Something that Jack said yesterday about his relationship with Erica really got to me. He said that he could never get the reaction out of her that others could. That outrageous smile filled with a deep joy that could only come spontaneously. Love. That's what I think it is. Not necessarily romantic love, but love none the less. You know the feeling, when you see that good friend and immediately you get so happy that you can be here with them that you rush over and give them a hug with all your might! I love that feeling, when you genuinely care about someone that much. When you can't think of anything better than spending time with them. That is love. That is what I want with Jesus.

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

The New Year

So after a trip to Montana to ski on some amazing snow over Christmas, we headed back to Minnesota to have a little celebration at the Farm. That was just great; I got to hang out with family and play some cribbage. It was pretty sweet. Afterwards I actually managed to make it to the last day of TCX, which ended up just being fantastic! Such a great day and I'm so glad that I went, especially after a week of really not talking to God or reading the Word. I just felt spiritually hungry, and I got fed that day.

And now I'm here, sitting in my house with nothing to do for the next three weeks since we decided not to road trip to California. I am going to work on my senior design project, but I need motivation. I need to get my butt out of my house and get some work done. But even with that project to occupy my time, I need more. I need a project. I need the Lord to give me something that I can feel accomplishment by investing my time into it. The thought crossed my mind to do ministry here like we did in East Asia. I think that would be pretty fun and want to try. That means spending an allotted amount of time doing min. I really need to break up my schedule. Maybe that can be my task for today. I also really need groceries. Man, I haven't thought this whole break thing through yet. I'm excited for it, but I don't want it to be a failure and it very well could be.

Peace out!